Eat Well and Deliver a Healthy Baby

When you become pregnant, what you eat isn’t only important for your own health, but for the health of your baby. Good nutrition during pregnancy will help to keep a developing baby and its mother healthy. Throughout pregnancy, try to make most of your food choices healthy ones Women should be encouraged to eat to their appetite and monitor their weight. A normal weight gain is around 10-13kg for women who are a healthy pre-conception weight.

Nutrition During Pregnancy

It is important to choose a wide variety of foods to ensure the nutritional needs of both mother and baby are met.
�·Lots of fruit and vegetables, wholegrain breads and cereals (for foliate deficiency)
�·Moderate amounts of low fat dairy foods.
�·Small amounts of foods high in fat, sugar and salt
�·Lean meat, chicken and fish (for iron intake) but avoid sea fish with high levels of mercury Iron losses are reduced during pregnancy because women are no longer menstruating and so are able to absorb more iron from the gut during pregnancy. It is useful to include foods that are good sources of iron in the diet every day
�·Dried beans and lentils
�·Nuts and seeds (it provide lots of iron and calcium)
Ã?·Low fat milk, cheese and yogurts (for calcium deficiency.) During the third trimester of pregnancy, there is a large shift of calcium to the baby as it starts to develop and strengthen its bones. If the mother isn’t getting enough calcium in her diet, the calcium needed by the developing baby is drawn from the mother’s bones.)
�·Green leafy vegetables. (Important for recovering of iron deficiency)

If proper diet is not maintained you are likely to end up with:

1.Anemia (or “low blood”) – caused by not enough iron vitamins and/or protein in the diet
2.Metabolic Toxemia of Late Pregnancy (MTLP) – a disease caused by not enough quality proteins and vitamins in the diet. Women with MTLP suffer convulsions or “fits”, coma, heart failure, shock, fat in their livers, bleeding into their livers, and often death for both mother and baby
3.Toxic Abruption of the Placenta or “Afterbirth” – in this disease the afterbirth breaks loose inside the woman’s womb before labor begins. The mothers bleeds and the baby dies in 50% of the cases
4.Severe infections of the lungs, kidneys and liver
5.Miscarriage or Abortion

A good diet will protect you and your baby from all these troubles. There is general agreement that women should not drink alcohol and smoke excessively during pregnancy. Excessive drinking in pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, low birth weight, congenital deformities and effects on the baby’s intelligence.

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